I know a lot of Spring 2018 CPs have just recently picked their choices for housing. YAY! You’re one step closer to living your dream!!! Unlike most other blogs about the Disney College Program out there, I realize I haven’t made a post about Disney Housing yet. I know many have their own opinions on housing and I’m not here to compete with anyone, but I’d like to shed light on the positives that each complex has to offer. Before I dive in, I would like to say that yes some complexes are newer than others, some are larger, and some have bigger overall campuses, but each complex has something special that makes it appealing from the rest! I am here to reassure anyone that is either nervous about housing or may not have gotten a complex that they wanted, that it really doesn’t matter in the end. No matter what your program will still be great and every complex has great qualities!
ALSO probably should point out that there are four complexes that Disney Housing has to offer. These housing options include Chatham Square, Patterson Court, The Commons, and Vista Way. All the complexes have their own pool, some form of laundry facilities, mailrooms (clubhouses), a computer lab, and gyms! Lastly, just because some sections are shorter than others DOES NOT mean that one complex is better than another; it only means I was able to summarize better. Now time to dive in!
So I decided to start with Chatham Square because this is where I lived during my program! Good old building 1! One little bit of information I’ll say before going into true detail about each complex is that Chatham, Patterson, and Commons are all within walking distance of each other. Vista is down the road a way. The three complexes that are closest to each other are also within walking distance of Mickey’s Retreat, this is a Cast Member only outdoor activities venue. The Retreat has recreational outdoor activities, intramural Cast Member sports teams and a lake!
The great thing about Chatham is that this is where all the housing events are hosted. Chatham has a spacious field that can fit a solid amount of CPs, Disney Characters, a Dance Floor, and Food Stations. Talk about a great time am I right?? By the way on a side note, GO TO HOUSING EVENTS THEY’RE GREAT! This is also the location of your program Graduation when the time unfortunately comes.
Next to the housing event space is a building where some of the Disney classes take place. I talk about these classes in a prior post, but if you are lucky enough to get into one then chances are it might be held here. I was lucky enough to not only get into the Disney Hospitality and Guest Relations seminar, but to have the class in the classrooms right next to my apartment!
The apartments themselves are often spacious and newer which is nice. It helps make the place feel very homey. Each apartment building has a laundry house connected to it, but there is not an individual laundry unit within each apartment.
Lastly, the gym is smaller than the other complexes but it is almost never crowded or busy! I am an avid gym goer and tried to fit it in at least once a day. Since everyone’s schedules are so different and random, the gym itself was always empty. Sometimes I was the only one in there and I would always go at different times throughout the week. The pool is located next to it and it’s a great size. I’ve seen plenty of people jump in right after their workout in full gym clothes! It’s also a very relaxing and quiet place. My roommates and I would sometimes go there at night and relax after a long day of work. Sometimes I would see people there in their costumes who decided to destress right after their shift. On hot days, it was a great way to cool down or chill in a beach chair with a great book to get your tan on!
Patterson is located right next to Chatham Square. This is the newest complex acquired by Disney, so the rooms are newer as well. This complex is often times described as quiet and I honestly don’t really think that’s the case. The only reason why it may be considered on the quiet side is probably more due to the fact that it is a smaller complex compared to the rest. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The pool, like Chatham, is a good size! The gym is also MUCH larger than the one in Chatham. This was great because some days I would jog over to the Patterson gym to get a little extra exercise in and because they had a few more machines to choose from. Laundry is once again in building connected to the complexes for easy access, but they are not within the apartments themselves.
This housing complex use to only be for international CPs up until recently. I really like that Disney decided to integrate ICPs with CPs. It really added to the experience to meet people from all around the world within your complex. Some were even lucky to have roommates from all different countries. Talk about an amazing way to learn about different ways of life and other cultures!
Anyways back to The Commons. The main reason why I was told that it was limited to International CPs was its limited amount of parking. Since most ICPs do not have cars it made sense, but even with the addition of CPs to the complex I never saw parking as an issue. There always seemed to be plenty of spaces in front of the buildings for everyone. I also heard that it was limited to ICPs because each apartment unit has its own washer and dryer. This is a unique feature that is not in any other housing complex and it may have been considered easier in helping ICPs adapt to their new surroundings.
The Commons is also home to the main Clubhouse. This is where you will have your initial housing meeting and you may also have a class here as well. It also hosts fun events like Bingo (GO WIN GROCERY BINGO) or movie nights!
Next to the Clubhouse is the complexes pool and a small convenient store for CPs! This isthe only convenient store in any of the complexes and did I mention the best part? How about a milkshake machine. Yes I said it. A. Milk. Shake. MACHINE. Pick a flavor, pop it in and boom within a few minutes you’re slurping away! I remember after the first housing event, some of my roommates and I walked over to The Commons solely to get a good shake.
Vista Way is the original complex that Disney acquired for their college program participants. This means that some of the rooms can be a little dated, but it isn’t horrible. If you notice anything wrong with your room upon arrival, notify someone immediately so it can be resolved sooner rather than later. Half of the complex had been newly renovated at the start of my program. This means more apartments could have been renovated since I have been there, but I have no confirmation of this.
The second rumor I would like to discuss is the idea that Vista is a partying complex and it’s too loud. Let it be known that every complex has its parties and for the most part no complex is necessarily considered noisy. Sure every once in a while there might be a loud party, but for the most part I have visited friends whose neighbors were throwing a party and we could barely hear anything. It’s really nothing to be concerned about. The other reason why it might be considered the partying complex is mainly due to it’s size. It’s one of the bigger complexes which means more people. More people will obviously lead to more commotion in any situation. But this complex is a great way to meet a lot of people on the program!
Now Vista is the only apartment complex that is separated from the other three. This is mainly because once again it is the first complex to be owned by Disney. This is not a bad thing! If you are living in Vista, you are a short walk away from countless stores and restaurants! When you don’t have time to cook dinner or don’t have any food, you’re right next door to plenty of food options for you to choose from!
Vista is also home to what I liked to call the ULTIMATE DISNEY LIBRARY. In Vista’s clubhouse, besides having a mailroom, there is a library that all CPs have access to. Inside this clubhouse there is a movie room/hangout space, a computer lab, and THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION OF DISNEY MOVIES AND BOOKS IMAGINABLE. This was definitely one of my BIGGESTTTT regrets! I only discovered this amazing resource in the last few weeks of my program. On a rainy day off, one of my roommates and I decided to go check it out because we had heard there was some pretty cool things to offer. Once we walked in, I honestly think out mouths about hit the floor. Every single Disney Channel show (all seasons ever) on DVD, every Disney movie imaginable, a ton of non-Disney options, all available to rent! All you need is your housing ID and it’s like checking out a book from a library! Also to rent is plenty of board games and books of all genres! There’s also a great collection of Disney and Imagineering books! So I HIGHLY recommend you check this place out early on!
Lastly, the basics, Vista does not have individual laundry units within apartments, but instead like Chatham and Patterson, they can be found outside the buildings. Vista has a pool like the other complexes and on top of it all they also have basketball courts! Just to get some extra activities in!
In conclusion I am not trying to persuade anyone to pick a certain complex, I simply want to give my readers a little more insight! Overall I cannot stress enough that NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE your program will still be amazing! If you don’t get your top housing choice please do not let that automatically give you a negative connotation about your program! No matter where you live, you will be spending your days either working or playing in the parks; where you go to sleep at the end of the day will not matter as much to you once you get there!
GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!